Technique required for visualizing the beating heart in larval and adult Drosophila are presented. Each life stage requires a different methodology.
An In Vitro Preparation for Eliciting and Recording Feeding Motor Programs with Physiological Movements in Aplysia californica
We describe a technique to extracellularly record and stimulate from nerves, muscles, and individual identified neurons in vitro while eliciting and observing different types of feeding behaviors in the feeding apparatus of Aplysia.
Optical Recording of Electrical Activity in Guinea-pig Enteric Networks using Voltage-sensitive Dyes
This protocol illustrates how voltage-sensitive dyes enable optical recording of electrical activity from intact neural networks such as the plexuses of the guinea-pig enteric nervous system, with an adjustable resolution that ranges from single-cells to multi-ganglionic circuitry.
We describe a method to record motor activity, timed to the electrically recorded tarsal contact signal in a tethered insect, walking on a slippery surface. This is used to study the neural basis of adaptive behavior under reduced influence of mechanical interaction between legs through the substrate.
1Department of Molecular & Human Genetics, Baylor College of Medicine (BCM), 2Precisionary Instruments Inc., 3Departments of Molecular & Human Genetics and Neuroscience, Baylor College of Medicine (BCM), 4Jan and Dan Duncan Neurological Research Institute, Texas Children's Hospital
Here we describe a rapid and simple method to image fluorescently labeled cells in semi-thick brain slices. By fixing, slicing, and optically clearing brain tissue we describe how standard epifluorescent or confocal imaging can be used to visualize individual cells and neuronal networks within intact nervous tissue.
Here we describe a basic protocol for fluorescent labeling of different elements of heart tubes from larva and adult Drosophila melanogaster. These specimens are well-suited for imaging via fluorescent or confocal microscopy. This technique permits detailed structural analysis of the features of the hearts from a powerful model organism.
Reproducible Mouse Sciatic Nerve Crush and Subsequent Assessment of Regeneration by Whole Mount Muscle Analysis
In this report we describe a method to crush mouse sciatic nerve. This method uses readily available hemostatic forceps and easily and reproducibly produces complete sciatic nerve crush. In addition, we describe a method to prepare muscle whole mounts suitable for analysis of nerve regeneration after sciatic nerve crush.
Imaging Neuronal Responses in Slice Preparations of Vomeronasal Organ Expressing a Genetically Encoded Calcium Sensor
The vomeronasal organ (VNO) detects intraspecies chemical signals that convey social and reproductive information. We have performed Ca2+ imaging experiments using transgenic mice expressing G-CaMP2 in VNO tissue. This approach allows us to analyze the complicated response patterns of the vomeronasal neurons to large numbers of pheromone stimuli.
Sampling Human Indigenous Saliva Peptidome Using a Lollipop-Like Ultrafiltration Probe: Simplify and Enhance Peptide Detection for Clinical Mass Spectrometry
Considering saliva sampling for future clinical application, a lollipop-like ultrafiltration (LLUF) probe was fabricated to fit in the human oral cavity. Direct analysis of undigested saliva by NanoLC-LTQ mass spectrometry demonstrated the ability of LLUF probes to remove large proteins and high abundance proteins, and make low-abundant peptides more detectable.
This is a protocol to prepare and maintain a neocortical slice preparation in organotypic culture for the purpose of making electrical recordings from pyramidal neurons.
In animals with large identified neurons (e.g. mollusks), analysis of motor pools is done using intracellular techniques1,2,3,4. Recently, we developed a technique to extracellularly stimulate and record individual neurons in Aplysia californica5. We now describe a protocol for using this technique to uniquely identify and characterize motor neurons within a motor pool.
Preparation of Synaptoneurosomes from Mouse Cortex using a Discontinuous Percoll-Sucrose Density Gradient
1Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, Waisman Center for Developmental Disabilities, University of Wisconsin, 2Department of Biochemistry, Waisman Center for Developmental Disabilities, University of Wisconsin
A method to prepare translationally active, intact synaptoneurosomes (SNs) from mouse brain cortex is described. The method uses a discontinuous Percoll-sucrose density gradient allowing for the quick preparation of active SNs.
We describe an established technique to measure and analyze odor-evoked calcium responses in the antennal lobe of living Drosophila melanogaster.
Human Neuroendocrine Tumor Cell Lines as a Three-Dimensional Model for the Study of Human Neuroendocrine Tumor Therapy
1Raymond and Beverly Sackler Foundation, 2The Cancer Institute of New Jersey, University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, 3School of Natural Sciences, Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton, New Jersey
We present a simple agarose overlay platform to grow 3D multicellular spheroids using neuroendocrine cancer cell lines. This method provides a very convenient way to examine the effect of therapeutic drugs on the neuroendocrine tumor cells. It could also help us establish human neuroendocrine tumor spheroids for cancer therapy.
We aimed to develop a reproducible protocol for isolating and maintaining long-term cultures of human fungiform taste papillae cells. Cells from human fungiform papillae obtained by biopsy were successfully maintained in culture for more than eight passages (12 months) without loss of viability.
Biophysical and biochemical studies of interactions among membrane-embedded protein domains face many technical challenges, the first of which is obtaining appropriate study material. This article describes a protocol for producing and purifying disulfide-stabilized transmembrane peptide complexes that are suitable for structural analysis by solution nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) and other analytical applications.
1Department of Physiology, David Geffen School of Medicine, University of California, Los Angeles, 2Department of Anesthesiology, David Geffen School of Medicine, University of California, Los Angeles, 3Department of Anesthesiology, Medicine and Physiology, David Geffen School of Medicine, University of California, Los Angeles
We describe a simple protocol to identify brain proteins that bind to the full length C terminus of ATP-gated P2X2 receptors. The extension and systematic application of this approach to all P2X receptors is expected to lead to a better understanding of P2X receptor signaling.
1Laboratory for NeuroRegeneration and Repair, Department of Neurology, Hertie Institute for Clinical Brain Research, University of Tuebingen, 2Graduate School for Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience, University of Tuebingen
We present a method for chromatin immunoprecipitation from dorsal root ganglia tissue following axonal injury. The approach can be used to identify specific transcription factor binding sites and epigenetic modification of histone and DNA important for the regeneration of injured axons in both the peripheral and central nervous system.
This protocol describes a simple and inexpensive way to quantify the activity of cis-regulatory elements (i.e., enhancer/promoters) in living mouse retinas via explant electroporation. DNA preparation, retinal dissection, electroporation, retinal explant culture, and post-fixation analysis and quantification are described.
Membrane Potentials, Synaptic Responses, Neuronal Circuitry, Neuromodulation and Muscle Histology Using the Crayfish: Student Laboratory Exercises
The experiments demonstrate an easy approach for students to gain experience in examining muscle structure, synaptic responses, the effects of ion gradients and permeability on membrane potentials. Also, a sensory-CNS-motor-muscle circuit is presented to show a means to test effects of compounds on a neuronal circuit.
Postsynaptic Recordings at Afferent Dendrites Contacting Cochlear Inner Hair Cells: Monitoring Multivesicular Release at a Ribbon Synapse
1Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery., The Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, 2Instituto de Investigaciones en Ingeniería Genética y Biología Molecular, Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas
Whole-cell patch-clamp recordings from auditory nerve fiber dendrites at the inner hair cell ribbon synapse in the mammalian cochlea.
Modeling Neural Immune Signaling of Episodic and Chronic Migraine Using Spreading Depression In Vitro
Migraine and its transformation to chronic migraine are immense healthcare burdens in need of improved treatment options. We seek to define how neural immune signaling modulates the susceptibility to migraine, modeled in vitro using spreading depression in hippocampal slice cultures, as a means to develop novel therapeutic targets.
In this report, we describe how surface plasmon resonance is used to detect toxin entry into the host cytosol. This highly sensitive method can provide quantitative data on the amount of cytosolic toxin, and it can be applied to a range of toxins.
Vibratome Sectioning for Enhanced Preservation of the Cytoarchitecture of the Mammalian Organ of Corti
A simple procedure of vibratome sectioning the organ of Corti, followed by immunohistochemistry and confocal microscopy is described. This procedure allows for improved preservation of the fine cytoarchitecture of the mammalian organ of Corti, and consequently allows for accurate quantification of cell types.
1Development and Aging Program, The Sanford Burnham Institute for Medical Research, 2Cardiac Electrophysiology Group, Dept. of Physiology, Anatomy and Genetics, The Sanford Burnham Institute for Medical Research, 3Biology Department and Heart Institute, San Diego State University
We have developed a Semi-automated Optical Heartbeat Analysis method (SOHA) for analyzing high speed optical recordings from Drosophila, zebrafish and embryonic mouse hearts. We demonstrate the application of our methodology to the analysis of heart function in fruit fly and embryonic mouse hearts.
1Department of Biotechnology & Bioinformatics, California State University Channel Islands, 2Department of Diabetes, Endocrinology and Metabolism, Beckman Research Institute of City of Hope, 3The Irell & Manella Graduate School of Biological Sciences, Beckman Research Institute of City of Hope
A three-dimensional clonogenic assay that allows pancreatic-like progenitors to differentiate into insulin-expressing colonies is described. This method takes advantage of semi-solid media containing methylcellulose, Matrigel and growth factors, in which single progenitors proliferate and differentiate in vitro, permitting quantification of the number of functional progenitors in a population.
Isolation of lymphocytes using the Miltenyi MACs kit is a reliable way to purify cells from whole lymphoid tissue homogenates. Cells purified using the Miltenyi system are typically ≥ 96% pure. Here, we demonstrate the steps taken to isolate CD4+ T cells, one of the many kits offered by Miltenyi.
This video shows an effective technique for differentiating and dissecting the various semi-transparent structures of the human vitreous body in post mortem eyes.
In this video and supplemental material, we show a protocol for chronic in vivo imaging of the intact brain using a thinned-skull preparation.
We describe a method for imaging response to anti-cancer treatment in vivo and at single cell resolution.
Bees can be conditioned in an appetitive olfactory learning paradigm (PER-conditioning). Using odors as stimuli, we established a method in which behavior is recorded while simultaneously Calcium Imaging is used to measure odor evoked activity in mushroom body neurons in vivo.
Single molecule microscopy approch provided novel insights into nuclear transport.
We provide a simple, semi-quantitative method to investigate biofilm formation in vitro. This method takes advantage of the Zeiss stemi 2000-C Dissecting Microscope (with camera attachment) to monitor both the timing and pattern of biofilm formation, as assessed by the development of wrinkled colonies.
1Institute of Medical Microbiology and Hygiene, University of Lübeck, 2Institute of Anatomie, University of Lübeck, 3Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University Hospital of Schleswig-Holstein, University of Lübeck, 4Medical Clinic III, University Hospital of Schleswig-Holstein, University of Lübeck
We describe an ex vivo infection model for visualisation of direct interactions from bacterial pathogens with human fallopian tube cells. The whole organ tissue model was established to investigate C. trachomatis induced pathology to the female fallopian tube under "life-like" conditions.
In this video, we will demonstrate how to record electrical activity from identified single neurons in a whole brain preparation, which preserves complex neural circuits. We use transgenic fish in which gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) neurons are genetically tagged with a fluorescent protein for identification in the intact brain preparation.
This protocol is a cost effective alternative for efficient parallel clarification and plasmid DNA purification from E. coli cultures. The AcroPrep Advance process starts with an optimized lysate clarification filter plate followed by purification on a high binding capacity DNA binding filter plate.
Single-cell electroporation (SCE) is a specialized technique allowing delivery of DNA or other macromolecules into individual cells within intact tissue, including in vivo preparations. Here we detail the procedure for SCE of a fluorescent dye or plasmid DNA into neurons within the intact brain of the Xenopus laevis tadpole.
We describe а protocol for isolation of pure, highly coupled rat heart mitochondria for functional or structural studies of cellular bioenergetics, biophysical measurements, proteomics or mitochondrial DNA and lipids analysis.
The non-human primate is an important translational species for our understanding of development and aging. The anatomical organization of the primate retina may provide important insights into normal and pathological conditions in humans.
This video shows a procedure for isolating intact protoplasts from tissues of 14-day-old seedlings of Arabidopsis. Given that the isolated protoplasts remain intact for at least 96h and are isolated from seedlings instead of one-month-old mature plants, this procedure expedites assays requiring intact protoplasts.
This video demonstrates the surgical preparation and procedures needed to study the contractile responses of the rat medial gastrocnemius muscle preparation in situ. This preparation allows measurement of skeletal muscle contractile properties under physiological conditions. The animal is anesthetized and the muscle is separated from surrounding tissue at its distal end. The Achilles tendon is attached to a force transducer, allowing measurement of the muscle’s contractile response at 37 degrees C with an intact circulation.
A suite of colorimetric assays is described for rapidly distinguishing protein, RNA, DNA, and reducing sugars in potentially heterogeneous biomolecular samples.
This video demonstrates the procedure for isolating whole brains from adult Drosophila in preparation for recording from single neurons using standard whole cell technology. It includes images of GFP labeled cells and neurons viewed during recording.
Catheter ablation is combined with placement of the WATCHMAN Left Atrial Appendage Closure Device to prevent ischemic stroke in a patient with non-valvular atrial fibrillation.
Analysis of rodent cerebrovascular anatomy plays an important role in experimental stroke research. In this context, intravascular perfusion with colored latex has been considered as a standard tool for several years. However, this technique implies distinct technical limitations, which undermine its reproducibility. Here, we describe a simple method to visualize cerebral vessels in a reproducible manner. Injection of a mixture of two commercially available carbon black inks through the left myocardial ventricle results in adequate filling of cerebral vessels with high contrast visualization. We have successfully applied this technique to identify anastomotic points between cerebral vascular territories of mice with different genetic backgrounds. We finally give evidence that this novel and simple method for vessel staining can be combined with triphenyltetrazolium chloride (TTC) staining - a widely used tool to observe and analyze infarct volumes in mice.
1Department of Psychiatry, Center for the Study of Traumatic Stress, Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, Bethesda, Maryland, 2Department of Gene and Protein Biomarkers, GenProMarkers, Inc.
We describe a rat model of post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) that reveals the persistent alterations in neuroendocrine function and the delayed long-term, exaggerated fear response, characteristic of PTSD patients. The animal model and methods described here are useful for correlating biomarkers in brain nuclei, which are mechanistic but cannot be measured in patients, with biomarkers in peripheral white blood cells, which can.
Traditionally the vertical slice and the whole-mount preparation of the retina have been used to study the function of retinal circuits. Here, we describe the novel slicing method to preserve the dendritic morphology of retinal neurons intact.
This video and protocol demonstrate how to implant a glass-covered cranial window in rodents. These preparations can be used for chronic in vivo two-photon imaging of the neocortex over time scales of months. It may also be used for other types of imaging, including optical intrinsic signal imaging.
Analyzing Responses of Mouse Olfactory Sensory Neurons Using the Air-phase Electroolfactogram Recording
The electroolfactogram (EOG) recording is an informative, easy-to-conduct, and reliable way of assessing olfactory function at the level of the olfactory epithelium. This protocol describes a recording setup, mouse tissue preparation, data collection, and basic data analysis.
A Simple and Efficient Method to Detect Nuclear Factor Activation in Human Neutrophils by Flow Cytometry
1Department of Biological Sciences, University of Alberta, 2División de Estudios de Posgrado e Investigación, Facultad de Odontología, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, 3Department of Immunology, Instituto de Investigaciones Biomédicas, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México
Neutrophils are the most abundant leukocytes in blood. Neutrophils possess transcriptionally regulated functions such as production of proinflammatory cytokines and inhibition of apoptosis. These functions can be studied with the method presented here, which allows detection and quantification of nuclear factors by flow cytometry in isolated nuclei